Mike Brown: Bengals have no intention of moving

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With the team’s stadium lease 10 years from expiring and the NFL’s franchise shuffle renewed in recent years given the approved moves of three of the league’s 32 franchises, the Bengals are at least on the outer edges of the relocation radar screen. Bengals owner Mike Brown disputes that notion, however. Strongly.

This is just a figment of somebody’s imagination,” Brown recently told the team’s official website. “We have no intention of moving. We had an opportunity to move when we came here to the stadium. We turned it down knowing full well that we were turning down literally hundreds of millions of dollars that we would not see here that we would have seen if we moved. I think that ought to be understood. It seems to be ignored.”

What can’t be ignored is the reality that, when the lease expires in a decade, the local politicians may not be willing to cut the kind of sweetheart deal that kept the Bengals in town when Riverfront Stadium was replaced by a football-only facility. Coupled with the possibility that some other market may be willing to make the Bengals an offer they can’t refuse if Cincinnati refuses to make a viable offer, relocation can’t be completely ruled out.

“I played a role in bringing it here,” Brown said. “I played a role in keeping it here. I don’t know if there’s much more I can do. I would hazard to guess the Bengals will be here when I’m not.”

Brown is now 82. A decade from now, it’s unclear who will be making the decisions about where the team will be. But basic economics could make a move at least a possibility, depending largely on the local political will to keep the team — and the political will of some other community to pry it away.

If those dynamics weren’t real and substantial, nearly 10 percent of the league’s teams wouldn’t have secured permission to change cities in the last two years. So it’s hardy a figment of anyone’s imagination to flag the Bengals as a team that could move. When current NFL cities can’t or won’t fund new stadiums and other cities will, it’s reasonable to peg teams with expiring leases in aging stadiums as potential candidates to get a new stadium in a new town.

21 responses to “Mike Brown: Bengals have no intention of moving

  1. TO BE FAIR/TO BE HONEST: The brown family saved the team from being moved when the brown family held the city/county hostage and corruptly orchestrated (bob bedinghaus) what the New York Times/Wall Street Journal/etc. called the worst stadium deal for a city ever (a great deal by Harvard Law School grad mike brown for the brown family).

    GOOGLE: Bengals stadium deal

    THE SAD TRUTH: The nfl will be a shell of itself in 10 years. The well educated/business minded brown family will probably smartly sell the franchise before the bottom falls out on nfl franchise value. A new billionaire owner/out of state owner will move the team.

  2. I dunno. The Democrat city council and Mayor of Cincinnati thought building a street car was a good idea so I am sure they wont mind giving the Bengals more money. The street car it turns out cant operate in the cold and they had to flail around and set up new bus routes this winter. Because you know……its cold

  3. It’s the only hope we have as Bengals fans. Mike Brown will live to be 110 and he won’t sell his cash cow. The pit of misery continues. Dilly Dilly

  4. Cincinnati is moving to Jacksonville when the Jags move to London. Or the Bengals may go to London themselves. If not there, they’ll find a way to try and put a team in Austin or Memphis.

  5. I’ve been a huge Bengal fan for 50 years and it’s to the point that I’m so fed up with Mike Brown’s satisfaction of mediocrity and have become numb to it all. Apathy has set in and just don’t care…go and don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you!

  6. My guess is that in 10 years he asks the county for a new stadium. Hopefully they say no this time. I think at that point they’ll weigh the relocation fee versus buying Paul Brown Stadium outright from the county for a ridiculously low cost. The county will have no use for it without the Bengals and id be shocked if Mike Brown turned down an almost free stadium. Of course Marvin Lewis will probably still be coaching and they won’t even be able to sell out a Bengals game at one of the local high school stadiums.

  7. it certainly does sound like more when you say “nearly 10 percent” than saying 3 teams. Perfect example of manipulating stats to make a point though.

  8. Yeah – this just confirms that the Bengals are going nowhere. Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis as his Head Coach – this team defines and richly embraces perpetual mediocrity.

  9. It seems to me that the Bungles moved away from relevance quite awhile ago. Maybe they were evicted? If Cincinnati was smart, they’d claim eminent domain to fix this disaster of a team…

  10. I am not wishing him ill, but in 2026, Brown will not likely be with us. Inheratance taxes may force a sale as the Bengals are the only income the Brown family has. A big offer to buy the team and move it may be appealing to the Blackburns in that case. I don’t think they can get away with transfering the team the way they did just before Paul passed. The IRS vigorously persued the Brown family at that time, only for the IRS to fail in court.

  11. When current NFL cities can’t or won’t fund new stadiums and other cities will, it’s reasonable to peg teams with expiring leases in aging stadiums as potential candidates to get a new stadium in a new town.
    Aging stadium? Its 18 or so years old, and was considered the most state-of-the art stadium when built.

    I’m tired of these owners pulling this act. I hope they all look at the Chargers attendance and realize that the grass isn’t always greener.

    On the upside, if the Bengals move it gives me an out to finally turn my back on the NFL for good.

  12. The NFL is trying not to say anything about it, but the fact is that all small market teams will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

  13. It’s a 2 headed monster.

    Cincy would have to be willing to help keep a team that’s really not interested in winning. See the Marvin Lewis extension.

    Any other city would have to roll out the red carpet for a team that’s really not interested in winning. See the Marvin Lewis extension.

    Neither is conductive to getting money out of someone. Basically all this means is with a 10 year lease – they figure they have 10 years to maybe win a playoff game which would be such a sea change in their trajectory that they’d be able to swindle errr get public monies for a stadium. Cincy or otherwise.

  14. U have to wonder why Brown is finally starting to put some money into his coaching and if he plays well in FA then maybe there is a reason for the 2 year super bowl push he wants marvin to make

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